6th Global Conference
Sexualities: Bodies, Desires, Practices
(formerly Persons and Sexuality)
Tuesday 10th November - Thursday 12th November 2009
Call for Papers
How do we understand the different desires and pleasures that people engage in, and by which they define who they are and how they interact with others? How do we conceive of and make sense of different sexualities beyond simple and often flawed notions of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ or ‘deviant’ or ‘paraphiliac’? What is at stake when we discuss sex and sexuality in the context of embodiment and the material (and messy) physicality of sex play? How do desires, identities, behaviours and practices interplay in sexual expressions in contemporary life? What challenging questions do we face in researching and theorising about sexuality in the 21st Century.
The study of sexuality has developed significantly over the last 20 years and this revamping of the ‘persons and sexuality’ conference seeks to shift focus from issues of identity and orientations in a sometimes hostile world (though these issues are still important and papers are still sought on them!!!) to explore issues of how people make sense of and express their different sexualities in contemporary life. The project seeks to develop a space for discussion and debate about the interplay of identities, orientations, desires, pleasures, taboos, relations, behaviours and practices of sex and sexuality across a range of critical, contextual and cultural perspectives. Seeking to encourage innovative, creative, inter, multi and post disciplinary dialogues in national and global contexts, we welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations which struggle to understand what it is to be sexual and how sex and sexuality has a social as well as private dimension. We particularly welcome papers that explore the creative spaces where biology, sexology, psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, arts and humanities, philosophy and contemporary – social constructionist, queer – critiques collide, oppose, conjoin and intermesh.
We welcome traditional papers, preformed panels of papers, workshop proposals and other forms of performance – recognising that different disciplines express themselves in different mediums - and seek submissions on any of the following themes:
1. Sexual Spatialities
• The public and private interlacing of sexuality; accounting for the link between social and intimate identities and sexuality
• What are the limits and scope to defining ourselves in social spaces through our desires
• Pre-modern, modern and postmodern sexualities and their expressions
• Sexuality, belonging and the alien; the local, social, national and international
• Structures, institutions and systems; economics, commodities and sexuality; work and sexuality
• Acts and interactions; representations and symbols; space and time
2. Bodies and Desire, Lust and Sex
• Bonds of lust and desire; unleashing and containing; unlocking and repressing
• Body rituals and the exchange of fluids: aesthetics, explorations, games, representations
• Fucking, sucking, penetrating, engulfing, petting, biting, rubbing, licking, touching, kissing
• The secular and the religious; the heretical and the sacred and their place in our desires
• Norms that rule our sexual lives; the death or killing of desire and lust
• Persons re-inventing their bodies, desires and lust; re-invention of sex and sexual beings?
• Embodiment, bodies and mapping desires in flesh
3. Sex in the 21st Century
• Web sex and virtual sex
• The new technologies of sex
• Sex, symbols and sex toys: vibrators are a girls best friend?
• Sexual diversity – scope and limits?
• Sex, health and safety and the impact of technologies and medicine
• Changing technologies, changing understandings of the sexual?
4. Love, Relationships, Detachment and Sex
• From marriage to fuck buddies – sexual relationships
• The entanglements of romance and desire, sex and social relations, love and pleasure.
• The meaning in sexual relationships: commitment, respect, exchange, use
• Hooking-up, casual sex, one-night stands; sex with strangers, what was your name again?
• Cyber-sex, phone-sex; virtual sex and sexuality
• Isolation, loneliness, estrangement and sexual deprivation
• Pleasures of the self; masturbation as detached sex?
• Detachment and the destruction of trust; betrayal, cheating and infidelity
• Separation, mourning and bereavement; unlinking, unloving and unsexing
5. Uncomfortable Territories
• Violence and sex; sexual abuse; abjection and sexuality; subjection and the sexual self
• Sex and animals, sex and pets; sex, desire and love across species boundaries
• Family, blood bonds and sex within boundaries of kinship; desire, sex and incest
• Sex games and sexual play that make people uncomfortable
• Scatological desire and sex; death, lust and sex
• Dislocated, homeless, disassociated, uprooted sex, desire and lust
6. Narrative, Aesthetic and Creative Representations
• The theatre of sex and sexual beings; sex on stage and on the stage of life
• Dreams, fantasies and desire; symbols, meaning and the unconscious
• Unfixing sexual categories of the self through art and artistic creation and narratives
• The grammar of lust and desire in artistic creation and representation
• Pornography and the erotic: artistic representation, aesthetic and creative virtue, narrative displacement?
• Is there a creation of new sexual territories by way of art and the aesthetic realm?
7. Identity Politics: Recognition, Citizenship and Rights
• Inequality, power relations, domination and sexuality
• Normalisation and the good sexual citizen; dissidence and the refusal to comply
• Homogeneity and heterogeneity, sameness and diversity, identity and fluid sexualities
• The other from within; unfixed sexualities, fluid identities; a sexual ethics for our times
• Social movements and their impact on rights and institutional change
• Sexual freedom, personhood, resistance and rebellion
Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 3rd July 2009. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper or equivalent should be developed and submitted by Friday 9th October 2009. The draft paper should be of no more than 8 or 9 pages long and ready for a 20 minute (maximum) presentation during the conference. 300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper or panel proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Reader in Sociology and Social Philosophy
Centre Director, Centre for Research Ethics and Ethical Deliberation
Edge Hill University
Network Founder and Leader
The conference is part of the ‘Transformations’ Hub’ within the Critical Issues programmes of Inter-Disciplinary.Net. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to form other publications dependent on the quality and coherence of the papers. Papers are also eligible for consideration for the new Global Journal of Sexuality, Sensuality and the Erotic, being launched in autumn 2009.
For further details about the project please visit:
For further details about the conference please visit:
Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road
Freeland, Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
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